OSU Extension Blogs

Pet care product survey deadline nears

Sea Grant - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 1:27pm

Pet owners, veterinarians and other pet-care professionals have until March 16 to take part in a national survey of how people dispose of unused pet care products such as medications, flea collars, shampoos and other grooming products.

Oregon Sea Grant is conducting the study as part of a broader look at how all kinds of personal care products used by people find their way into landfills and wastewater systems, where they can affect the health of local watersheds. With an estimated 68 percent of American households owning at least one pet, it’s important to know how animal-care products figure into the larger picture.

While the survey has had a good response from Oregon and other West Coast states, the survey team, led by Oregon Sea Grant watershed health specialist Sam Chan, would like to see more responses from other states.

“You can count on one hand the number of studies that have been done on what people actively do with the disposal of these products,” Chan said. “PPCPs are used by almost everyone and most wastewater treatment plants are not able to completely deactivate many of the compounds they include.”

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Social Justice

Evaluation is an Everyday Activity - Wed, 02/18/2015 - 5:38pm

Earlier this week I attended a meeting of the College of Education (my academic home) Social and Environmental Justice (SJE) Work Group.  This is a loosely organized group of interested faculty and staff, led by an individual who is the ESOL Program Coordinator & Instructor. We had representatives from each of the four program areas (Adult and Higher Education [AHE], Teacher and Counseling Education [TCE], Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math [STEM], and Cultural and Linguistic Diversity [CLD]) in person (AHE, TCE,. CLD) or on paper [STEM]. The intent was to document for the work group, what each program area is doing in the area of social justice. Social Justice is a mandate for the College and OSU. The AHE and the TCE representatives provided us with information. We never did get to the STEM response. Then we got on to a discussion of what exactly is meant by social justice (since AHE has not defined the term specifically). My response was the evaluation response: it depends.

Most of the folks in the group focused on the interface of race and gender. OK. Others focused on the multiple and different voices. OK. Others focused on the advantages and disadvantages experienced. How is that not based in economics? Others focused on power and privileged. (As an accident of birth?) What is social justice exactly? Can you have social justice without environmental justice? How does that fit with the issue of diversity? How does any of this relate to evaluation?

The American Evaluation Association has had in place for a long time (since 1994) a set of five guiding principles (see Background section at the link for a bit of history). The fourth and fifth principles are, respectively, Respect for People and Responsibilities for General and Public Welfare. Respect for people says this:  Evaluators respect the security, dignity and self-worth of respondents, program participants, clients, and other evaluation stakeholders. Responsibilities for the General and Public Welfare says this: Evaluators articulate and take into account the diversity of general and public interests and values that may be related to the evaluation. Although both talk about parts of social justice that we talked about earlier this week, is this a complete view? Certainly, security, dignity, and self worth and diversity of interests and values approach the discussion we had. Is there still something missing? I think so. Where is fairness addressed?

To me, fairness is the crux of the issue.  For example, it certainly isn’t fair that in the US, 2% of the population has the cumulative wealth of the remaining 98%. (Then we are into economics.) Although Gandhi said “be the change” is that enough? What if that change isn’t fair?  And the question must be addressed, fair to whom? What if that change is only one person? Is that fair?  I always talk about the long term outcome as world peace (not in my lifetime, though). If you work for justice (for me that is fairness) will peace result? I don’t know. Maybe.

 

 

Tomorrow is the Lunar New Year. It is the year of the goat/sheep/ram. I wish you the best. Eat jiaozi and tangerines (for encouraging wealth), and noodles without breaking/biting them (you do want a long life, right?). Happy New Year.

 

 

 

 

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Position opening: Marine education volunteer coordinator

Breaking Waves - Tue, 02/17/2015 - 3:25pm

Oregon Sea Grant is seeking a full-time (1.00 FTE), 12-month Marine Education Volunteer Coordinator to work at our Visitor Center at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science center in Newport. The coordinator oversees adult volunteers and serves as the Visitor Center’s liaison to the public, current and potential donors and community partners. The application deadline is March 3, 2015.

This position serves a key role at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center Visitor Center, overseeing its most essential resources, its volunteers, assisting with the center’s operations and serving as its liaison to the public, potential and current donors adn community parthers.

For a full position description and to apply, visit the OSU Jobs site.

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Position opening: Marine education volunteer coordinator

Sea Grant - Tue, 02/17/2015 - 3:25pm

Oregon Sea Grant is seeking a full-time (1.00 FTE), 12-month Marine Education Volunteer Coordinator to work at our Visitor Center at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science center in Newport. The coordinator oversees adult volunteers and serves as the Visitor Center’s liaison to the public, current and potential donors and community partners. The application deadline is March 3, 2015.

This position serves a key role at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center Visitor Center, overseeing its most essential resources, its volunteers, assisting with the center’s operations and serving as its liaison to the public, potential and current donors adn community parthers.

For a full position description and to apply, visit the OSU Jobs site.

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Silviculture information – from low tech to the world of apps

Amy Grotta's Tree Topics - Mon, 02/16/2015 - 10:38am

By Amy Grotta, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension – Columbia, Washington & Yamhill Counties

How do you like your silviculture served? In a book, a pamphlet, a video, or an app?

A sampling of silviculture manuals dating from the 1970’s and 80’s

My office shelves are lined with decades-old research reports, mostly left behind by my predecessors; and having neither the time to sort through them nor the ability to fully shake my packrat tendencies, I hang on to them. Besides the information they contain, these volumes form a historical record of sorts, and so while they don’t come off the shelf too much these days, they are worth keeping around.

An example is Douglas-fir: Stand Management for the Future (1986). The title makes me consider whether the Future of Douglas-fir stand management has turned out the way the authors expected, when this was published nearly 30 years ago. Coincidentally, Dr. Chad Oliver, one of the co-authors of Douglas-fir: Stand Management for the Future will be at OSU next month, presenting a Starker Lecture titled A Contemporary View of Douglas-fir Silviculture (as with all the Starker Lectures, one need not attend in person; the lectures are videostreamed live and archived for later viewing). The abstract of his talk implies that forest management can, should, and has evolved, in concert with society’s changing demands on forests.

Recently, Brad touched on the importance of having management objectives drive management decisions in the woods. A key point in that article is that silvicultural approaches (planting, vegetation management, thinning, harvest) should be tailored to the landowner’s specific combination of objectives. Family forest owners’ objectives often are quite different from those of larger private or public landowners, and thus management on the ground should differ accordingly.

Successful regeneration following a group selection harvest

While we know a lot about intensive forest management as it applies to even-aged, short rotation forestry, using silviculture to create more complex and diverse forest structures is more nuanced, and often very site specific. A cookbook approach does not always work. To address this, OSU Extension recently produced a series of Alternative Forest Management case studies designed to help landowners learn from working examples. The case study approach requires an examination of landowner objectives, site factors, stand conditions, and results beyond the initial silviculture treatment. There are four case studies in the series (two of which are in westside, Douglas-fir dominated forests), with the promise of more to come.

As with forest management, our ways of obtaining information have evolved. Anymore, people use YouTube or another internet site, rather than an owner’s manual or a printed research report, for finding out how to do something. (Admittedly, that is one reason for this blog; to put information online, where people are looking.) OSU Extension is increasingly looking at new formats for delivering information, and the Alternative Forest Management series represents a foray into the world of apps and interactive media.

The case studies are available in three formats, recognizing that viewers have different preferences. Each one can be downloaded (and printed) as a traditional PDF publication. Three of them have also been made interactive, with video clips, virtual forest panoramics, and added graphics that illustrate dimensions of the case studies. The interactive versions can be downloaded as an app for an Apple or Android tablet. Or, they can be viewed in an internet browser of a “regular” computer.

Since I don’t have a tablet I used the third option. I went to the Alternative Forest Management page in the Extension catalog. Then I selected one of the case studies (for example, Mixed Conifer and Hardwood Management in Southwest Oregon, EM 9084) and on its home page, the three options (PDF, interactive, and App) all appear. Below is a screen shot from the interactive version (left), alongside the corresponding text in the PDF version (right).

Both the interactive and PDF versions contain the same text, but the interactive version also includes videos and additional graphics to be explored.

 

So back to the opening question of this post: How do you like your silviculture served? I am actually really curious about this. At the end of the day, it is effective delivery and use of information that we are after with our materials. Time and again, people tell me that seeing an example on the ground, in person, is the best learning experience for them. Are the videos and other interactive features a good substitute? How well do they add to your understanding of forest management, if at all? You can weigh in by commenting on this post, or sending me an email.

Kudos to Jeff Hino and Stephen Ward at Extension & Experiment Station Communications for their innovative and creative work on the Alternative Forest Management series, and to Extension Silviculture Specialist Steve Fitzgerald for leading the project.

The post Silviculture information – from low tech to the world of apps appeared first on TreeTopics.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Natural Resource Policy Fellowship: Applications due March 17

Breaking Waves - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 10:57am

Oregon Sea Grant is seeking qualified applicants with a strong interest in marine resource policy for our 2015-16 Natural Resource Policy Fellowship. Applications are due to the Oregon Sea Grant office no later than 5 pm on March 17.

This fellowship, which gives a student first-hand experience working on natural resource policy at the state level, is open to graduate students from any college or university with a physical campus located in Oregon, who have completed their graduate degree within since September 2013 or are within a year of completing it; preference will be given to those who have wrapped up their degrees by the time the fellowship starts.

The successful candidate will interview with multiple agency hosts to determine the best fit for both. The one-year, non-renewable fellowship, which includes a $31,200 stipend in monthly installments, plus travel, begins between May and July 2015, depending on the needs of the fellow and the agency with whom he or she is matched.

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Natural Resource Policy Fellowship: Applications due March 17

Sea Grant - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 10:57am

Oregon Sea Grant is seeking qualified applicants with a strong interest in marine resource policy for our 2015-16 Natural Resource Policy Fellowship. Applications are due to the Oregon Sea Grant office no later than 5 pm on March 17.

This fellowship, which gives a student first-hand experience working on natural resource policy at the state level, is open to graduate students from any college or university with a physical campus located in Oregon, who have completed their graduate degree within since September 2013 or are within a year of completing it; preference will be given to those who have wrapped up their degrees by the time the fellowship starts.

The successful candidate will interview with multiple agency hosts to determine the best fit for both. The one-year, non-renewable fellowship, which includes a $31,200 stipend in monthly installments, plus travel, begins between May and July 2015, depending on the needs of the fellow and the agency with whom he or she is matched.

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Winter Storm Damage

Amy Grotta's Tree Topics - Thu, 02/12/2015 - 7:43am

By Brad Withrow-Robinson, OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension – Benton, Linn and Polk Counties

Winter storms seem to inflict damage to trees and forests somewhere in the area most years. Winds, snow and ice can damage individual trees or entire forest stands- breaking out branches, snapping the main trunk or tipping over whole trees, leaving landowners with a mess and many unexpected decisions.

This winter has been an exception in the severity of the November 2014 ice storm that battered a swath of the interior Coast Range from the Kings Valley area south to Mary’s Peak (see previous article).   This unusual event caused irregular and spotty damage reflecting fairly small differences in aspect and elevation.  Many landowners are still surveying the damage and considering their need to salvage and wondering if they can thin the damage out while leaving a healthy stand.  Damage is severe enough in some cases to be forcing the decision to clear cut and replant young stands rather than the early thinning they were due for.

Many factors will influence the decision of how to react to the damage including the extent of the damage to individual trees (how much of the trees crown was lost), the percent of trees damaged in a stand, the species, the terrain and availability of loggers and equipment.

Storm damage creates a clear immediate loss, but also many potential future losses.  Windthrow and breakage immediately reduce the value and market options of salvaged logs, while damage to surviving trees cause future losses to defect and increased rot.  Storm debris and may lead to beetle outbreaks that threaten undamaged trees in years ahead.  Yikes.

Beetles are a concern for two reasons 1) they may accelerate sapwood decay and associated degrading of the log, and 2) they may build up in dead and damaged trees to the point where they can attack otherwise healthy trees.  In this case we are talking about the Douglas-fir bark beetle.

It is important to keep the beetle’s life cycle and behavior in mind.  Douglas-fir bark beetles fly each year from April into the early summer.  They are looking for freshly down or stressed trees to colonize by boring through the bark and laying eggs in the inner bark.  There the beetle grubs will be protected and nourished as they develop into subadults by late fall.  They overwinter in the colonized log before emerging the following spring and repeating the cycle.  A couple other important things to know are that the Douglas-fir bark beetle has just one generation per year (as opposed to more rapidly growing fivespined ips in pine (see previous article), and that it needs fairly large material – logs that are 9 or 10 inches in diameter and greater – to develop into adults.  Also, abundance matters.  The numbers I’ve heard in the past and confirmed by Dave Shaw, OSU Extension Forest Health Specialist, is that there needs to be about 10 logs, 10 or more inches in diameter to lead to serious beetle damage to standing trees, although it is likely that damage is progressive with growing amounts of larger logs.  But the take home message is that you need some large material for this to become a problem, and that branches tops are not suitable nursery material for the bark beetle.  A silver lining, but a very thin and wispy one indeed.

Fine cinnamon-colored sawdust indicates bark beetle activity

So how does this factor into the salvage decision? For situation 1, where you hope to avoid decay and degrade of salvaged logs, it is important to remove vulnerable logs as soon as possible, and ideally before the spring 2015 beetle flight.  For situation 2, where you have significant amounts of downed or broken standing trees and hope to at least avoid a beetle population building up to damage the stand further, then it would be important to get out all suitable beetle rearing material (logs 10 inches and larger) before emergence of the storm-spawned generation in the spring of 2016.

You can anticipate one or more tours to consider options presented in a number of storm scenarios to be presented by Extension, the Small Woodlands Association and others. Please watch the Woodland Compass and Needle for details, or watch the Upcoming Events page  on our website for details.

 

The post Winter Storm Damage appeared first on TreeTopics.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Small-Scale & Urban farming Series

Small Farms Events - Thu, 02/12/2015 - 6:36am
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

OSU Extension Horticulturist Brooke Edmunds will explain the difference between sprouts, microgreens and baby greens.  This class will cover the latest research on the health benefits of microgreens, how to grow your own, and taste test different types. Participants will plant a container of microgreens to take home

For more information, contact the OSU Lane County Extension office at (541)344-5859, or stop by the office at 996 Jefferson Street in Eugene, to pick up an application.

Office hours are Monday-Thursday, 10am-1pm and 2-5pm.

Cost of session is $25.00.  Pre-registration is required.

For payment with a credit card see the website: extension.oregonstate.edu/lane/gardens

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Blogging and Writer’s Block

Evaluation is an Everyday Activity - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 4:14pm

I don’t know what to write today for this week’s post. I turn to my book shelf and randomly choose a book. Alas, I get distracted and don’t remember what I’m about.  Mama said there would be days like this…I’ve got writer’s block (fortunately, it is not contagious). (Thank you, Calvin). There is also an interesting (to me at least because I learned a new word–thrisis: a crisis of the thirties) blog on this very topic (here).

So this is what I decided rather than trying to refocus. In the past 48 hours I’ve had the following discussions that relate to evaluation and evaluative thinking.

  1. In a faculty meeting yesterday, there was the discussion of student needs which occur during the students’ matriculation in a program of study. Perhaps it should include assets in addition to needs as students often don’t know what they don’t know and cannot identify needs.
  2. A faculty member wanted to validate and establish the reliability for a survey being constructed. Do I review the survey, provide the reference for survey development, OR give a reference for validity and reliability (a measurement text)? Or all of the above.
  3. There appears to be two virtual focus group transcripts for a qualitative evaluation that have gone missing. How much affect will those missing focus groups have on the evaluation? Will notes taken during the sessions be sufficient?
  4. A candidate came to campus for an assistant professor position who presented a research presentation on the right hand (as opposed to the left hand) [Euphemisms for the talk content to protect confidentiality.] Why even study the right hand when the left hand is what is the assessment?
  5. Reading over a professional development proposal dealing with what is, what could be, and what should be. Are the questions being asked really addressing the question of gaps?

I’m sure there are others. These jump to my mind. So I’ll give the references that relate to the above situations by number. Some of them I’ve given before; seems appropriate to do so again.

  1. Altschuld, J. W. (2014). Bridging the gap between asses/capacity building and needs assessment. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  2. Dillman, D. A., Smyth, J. D., Christian, L. M. (2014). Internet, phone, mail, and mixed-mode surveys: The tailored design method. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

2a. Salkind, N. J. (2005). Tests & measurement for people who (think they) hate tests and measurements.Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. (I show an image of the first edition; there is a second edition available.)

2b. Salkind, N. J. (2011). Statistics for people who (think they) hate statistics. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. (I include the statistics book by the same author because statistics is related.)

3. Carey, M. A. & Asbury, J-E. (2012). Focus group research. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, Inc.

4. Walvoord, B. E. (2004). Assessment clear and simple: A practical guide for institutions, departments, and general education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

4a. Schraw, G. & Robinson, D. R. (2011). Assessment of higher order thinking skills. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, Inc.

5. (See number 1).

Where have you found evaluation/evaluative thinking in your day?

Let me know.

my .

molly.

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Lane County Livestock Association Breakfast Educational Program

Small Farms Events - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 2:38pm
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 6:30 AM - 8:00 AM

 

For more information contact Shelby Filley (541) 672-4461  shelby.filley@oregonstate.edu

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Management by Objective

Amy Grotta's Tree Topics - Tue, 02/10/2015 - 1:56pm

By Brad Withrow-Robinson, OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension – Benton, Linn and Polk Counties

A local meeting of professional foresters last month focused on how forest management practices reflect the objectives of the owners. That sometimes creates challenges for the managers, since owner and manager are often not synonymous when it comes to forests and other natural resource lands. Some objectives and corresponding management practices are very well defined and developed, and others much less so.

An intensively managed young stand

For example, lands managed for stockholders and other investors are often planted as even aged stands on fairly short rotations, since it is an efficient way to manage risk and provide a return on investment while also providing some additional benefits to society.   There is good understanding and a pretty straight line between those objectives and managers activities, both of which have remained reasonably steady over time. Their management practices have been developed through applied research, so these managers are generally quite successful in meeting their objectives.

Anyone reading the news in Oregon realizes that managers of public lands (both State and Federal) often have not benefited from a clear or consistent message of owner objectives. Public lands management objectives tend to be broad if not poorly defined or even contradictory and have often shifted dramatically over the years. The owners (who are of course the public: a fickle group at best and unlikely to change) variously wants things including jobs for vibrant local economies and pristine wild habitats. Resources and funding for these agencies are often very limited. So public managers use a bunch of different management systems including long rotations and uneven age management, hoping to obtain some desired results on the cheap, but since there is little agreement on objectives, it is pretty hard to say how successful they are.

Family forest landowners often look to the larger private and public landowners for examples of management practices to apply to their lands. You can easily find folks shadowing the large private managers’ planting, spacing and weed control practices, although I commonly find people planning to extend the rotation lengths on their property. And you can find people wanting to grow mature forest structures more reminiscent of Federal lands practices.  This approach of management by mimicry can be problematic for family forest landowners. Why? Their stakeholder group (the owners and their family) is very different from large private or public stakeholders, as are the economics and cash flow patterns on small properties (erratic at best). So family landowners’ objectives are rarely the same as those of the big private or public landowners they look to for ideas.

A mature stand on State lands

Standard silvicultural approaches used by professional foresters are often not well matched to the family landowners’ situation, and should be adopted with caution and modifications. For example, many intensive management practices used on private lands are helpful to landowners struggling with invasive weeds and needing to re-establish a forest stand. But these practices often lead to conditions that are not as visually appealing to many family landowners as what they desire, since many live on the property.   Likewise, habitat-oriented harvest approaches such as patch cuts can provide income without visual heartburn, but without further actions may not deliver the desired mature forest structures that were inspired by the family camping trips in old growth on the national forest.

Both of these examples’ limitations can be addressed: by early thinning in the first case; by patch size, species selection and thinning in the second case. But both require some additional understanding of tree growth behaviors, actions and investment beyond the observations that inspired the action. The challenge is to be sure these practices can reflect the landowner’s objectives, can fit together coherently over decades and match the local biological and physical processes.

Now I realize that family forest landowners are a very diverse group of people, and one which certainly cannot be accused of having a collective and clearly defined group of management objectives. Probably each of the thousands of private landowners in Oregon (and members within the same family) have a unique take on why they own forestland, and what benefits they want from their woods. This is one reason you see such a variety of woodland practices and so much woodland diversity across private family forestlands, often in contrast to other categories of ownership. It certainly makes my job fun and interesting.

Butts clan by log deck from thinning to release oak.

If you are a family landowner you can, you must make efforts to make sure you and your family’s objectives for owning and tending your property are clear. Clear objectives help achieve clear results. And I do not mean to apply that you cannot look at and copy other landowners’ actions. But you do need to make sure they will lead towards your objectives for your property, and be willing to learn and make necessary adjustments to keep on track.

For help and information on developing clear objectives for your property, visit the Oregon Forest Planning Website and walk through the steps of Woodland Discovery.

 

Acknowledgements: Thanks to the Marys Peak Chapter of the Society of American Foresters for organizing the conference “Silviculture by Objectives: Options and Outcomes” held in Albany. Thanks also to the speakers from OSU, BLM, FS and the other speakers representing various ownership types for their presentations which helped spur the observations and reflections above. BW-R.

 

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Linn-Benton Livestock & Forages Breakfast Educational Program

Small Farms Events - Tue, 02/10/2015 - 6:51am
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 6:30 AM - 8:00 AM

 

For more information contact:

Shelby Filley (541)672-4461   shelby.filley@oregonstate.edu

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Logic models-a good tool?

Evaluation is an Everyday Activity - Wed, 02/04/2015 - 9:51am

There has been a somewhat lengthy discussion regarding logic models on EvalTalk, an evaluation listserv sponsored by the American Evaluation Association. (Check out the listserv archives.)  This discussion has been called in the subject line, “Logic model for the world?” The discussion started on January 26, 2015. The most telling (at least to me) was a statement that appeared January 30, 2015:

“The problem is not the instrument. All instruments can be mastered as a matter of technique. The problem is that logic models mistake the nature of evaluative knowledge – which is neither linear nor rational.” (Saville Kushner, EvalTalk, January 30, 2015).

The follow-up of this discussion talks about tools, specifically hammers (Bill Fear, EvalTalk, January 30, 2015). Fear says, “Logic is only a tool. It does not exist outside of the construction of the mind.”

Since Fear opened the discussion of social constructions,  it seems to me that humon is just trying to make sense out of many illogical approaches to solutions through the use of whatever tool (model, social construction) s/he can grasp. Evaluators are only humon; social constructions help them to make sense of the world.

Are logic models passe? Since they have been around a long time (see the EvalTalk discussion), probably not, especially in light of the fact that they are used by humons who are trying (desperately) to make sense out of the world through any way possible (hence, social constructions). Just keep in mind, the tool is only as good as the crafts(wo)man who uses it.

 

If you don’t subscribe to EvalTalk, and you are interested in evaluation (in any capacity), subscribe. It is open to non-AEA members as well as AEA members. It is the original social network (albeit without pictures). It does a really good job of connecting all members of the evaluation community.

My survey about what difference this blog is making is posted here. PLEASE TAKE IT!

Gathering data about what difference this blog makes will help me a lot.

my .

molly.

 

 

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Food Science Camp 2013 and Erik Fooladi

Bringing Food Chemistry to Life - Fri, 07/19/2013 - 12:44pm

We participate in the Oregon State U Food Science Camp for middle school students.

Part of the STEM [science technology engineering math] Academies@OSU Camps.

We teach about bread fermentations, yeast converting sugars to CO2 and ethanol, lactobacillus converting sugar to lactic and acetic acids, how the gluten in wheat can form films to trap the gas and  allow the dough to rise. On the way we teach about flour composition, bread ingredients and their chemical functionalities, hydration, the relationships between enzymes and substrates [amylases on starch to produce maltose for the fermentation organisms]; gluten development, the gas laws and CO2′s declining solubility in the aqueous phase during baking which expands the gas bubbles and leads to the oven spring at the beginning of baking; and the effect of pH on Maillard browning using soft pretzels that they get to shape themselves..

All this is illustrated by hands on [in] activities: they experience the hydration and the increasing cohesiveness of the dough as they mix it with their own hands, they see their own hand mixed dough taken through to well-risen bread. They get to experience dough/gluten development in a different context with the pasta extruder, and more and more.

A great way to introduce kids to the relevance of science to their day to day lives: in our case chemistry physics biochemistry and biology in cereal food processing.

We were also fortunate to have Erik Fooladi from Volda University College in Norway to observe the fun: http://www.fooducation.org/

If you have not read his blog and you like what we do here: you should!

 

endless pasta

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Good Cheese, Bad Cheese

Bringing Food Chemistry to Life - Wed, 07/10/2013 - 12:25pm

pH, colloidal calcium phosphate, aging, proteolysis, emulsification or its loss and their interactions lead to optimum melting qualities for cheeses. A module in this year’s food systems chemistry class.

This module was informed by this beautiful article “The beauty of milk at high magnification“ by Miloslav Kalab, which is available on the Royal Microscopical Society website.

http://www.rms.org.uk/Resources/Royal%20Microscopical%20Society/infocus/Images/TheBeautyOfMilk.pdf

Of course accompanied by real sourdough wholegrain bread baked in out own research bakery.

Inspired by…

“The Science of a Grilled Cheese Sandwich.”

by: Jennifer Kimmel

in: The Kitchen as Laboratory: Reflections on the Science of Food and Cooking

Edited by Cesar Vega, Job Ubbink, and Erik van der Linden

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

February 2011- Nutrition Education Volunteers taking “vacation”

Family Food Educators of Central Oregon - Tue, 02/01/2011 - 8:24am

I’m back from maternity leave and getting resettled into some new responsibilities.  We had a staff member leave us, so Glenda and I are having to pick up the work load until we find someone new, or our responsibilites change.  Being a new mom is lots of work too, so I’ve gone part time (24 hours aweek) but am still trying to get everything done… that being said, we’ve decided to put our nutrition education volunteering on hold, until I have a managable workload.

We look forward to being able to start things back up in the summer or fall of 2011.  Thanks so much and since a few of you have been asking, here’s a photo of our boy.  He is 5 months old today!

Bundled out in the cold!

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs